St. John Valley

Ridgewood Estates offering window, FaceTime visits

MADAWASKA, Maine — The residents at Ridgewood Estates have been trying to keep busy with help from the Ridgewood Estates staff during the COVID-19 pandemic — even as the facility remains vigilant in limiting physical contact with the outside world while ensuring that employees are screened and healthy each day. 

Paula Gendreau activities coordinator for Ridgewood Estates said that when the first case of COVID-19 hit Aroostook County, Director of Nursing Priscilla Dionne Deprey met with the department heads and implemented an action plan in accordance with the CDC recommendations to keep the residents safe.

The action plan consisted of closing the facility to outside visitors and following CDC recommendations such as using masks and other personal protection equipment. 

The residential facility put out a facebook post to inform the families of the new guidelines implemented and also gave some hope to families who were worried about being able to see their loved ones, Gendreau said. 

Activities director Jackie Cyr also notified the families that they could schedule a FaceTime video call appointment so the residents could still see and have contact with their families. 

“As we learn more about the virus and the Valley has no active cases, we are now allowing window visits, which involve appointment times for a 30-minute visit,” Gendreau said. “The resident is sitting 6 feet back from the window and all members of the visit are required to wear a mask.” 

The residents were never quarantined to their rooms but were quarantined to their wing, according to Deprey. She added that the wing-bound quarantine was lifted due to negative psychological effects. 

To help keep the residents busy and help raise their spirits during this time, Gendreau said the facility has done a lot of outside socials, word search contests, movies, helping with food prep, rides around the lake, and angel walks where the residents get one-on-one walks with a staff member. 


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